President Goodluck Jonathan said Wednesday in Cape Town that following the total privatization of power generation and distribution in Nigeria, his Administration expects an annual private sector investment of about $10 Billion in the country’s power sector over the next ten years.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa which opened today in the South African city, President Jonathan said that realizing that government alone cannot build the infrastructure that the country needs, the Federal Government has completed the biggest transfer of power assets in Africa to private investors.
The President said that to speedily overcome the infrastructural deficit that currently limits the pace of their economic development, Nigeria and other African countries must find innovative ways of funding essential infrastructure in areas such as power supply , energy and communications.
Noting that without a common framework as a basis for collaboration little progress will be made in the development of infrastructure across Africa, President Jonathan commended the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) for establishing the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
The President said that he was delighted that PIDA will build on plans established under previous initiatives such as the NEPAD Medium to Long Term Strategic Framework and the African Union Infrastructure Master Plans.
He said that Nigeria will continue to support the development of continent wide infrastructure such as the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project and the Lagos-Abidjan Highway Project.
President Jonathan however disclosed that in the light of recent developments in the global gas industry and the collapse of gas prices, the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project concept is being reviewed to determine its continued viability.
“My expectation is that PIDA will hasten Africa’s integration through trade and migration which has been a priority and central element of the continent’s development strategy. On our part, we are committed to the integration of Africa’s infrastructure and its development,” the President said at the session which was dedicated to the development of Infrastructure in Africa.
He welcomed PIDA’s alignment with the vision of the Economic Community of West African States vision of the free movement of the free movement of people, goods and services.
Observing that it is estimated that Africa requires about 100 billion US dollars annually for infrastructure development in the next decade, whereas only a quarter is being spent today, President Jonathan said that it was clear that Africa could not “thread this path alone”.
He therefore thanked the World Economic Forum and other critical stakeholders for supporting Africa’s progress towards the development of “21st Century infrastructure”.
“I urge you all not to relent in your efforts,” he concluded.
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 8, 2013